Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ussal Pav

What "Pav Bhaji" was to us, "Ussal Pav" was to my mom and her siblings when they were growing up in Mumbai. It was a spicy & rare treat which they all used to look forward to eating whenever they visited their uncle's home. My grandmother used to scorn the thought of eating the "outside" food, so it was really a rare treat. but she couldn't do much when the kids visited their uncle and had loads of fun devouring this Ussal.

I pestered my mom and aunts to take a walk down the memory lane and remember their childhood recipe. It was not the usual Maharashtrian UsaL, even the pronunciation is slightly different - it's ussal rather than usaL. It was more of a thin & spicy curry, flavored with sambar masala and curry leaves and you need to dunk in the fresh pavs to soak it up. The owner of that shop was one Shetty Mama - that's what they called the vendor. It's fun visiting Mumbai from my parents memory lane. It's so different than the Mumbai I grew up.

& here's my version of Usaal Pav -

Ussal Pav
Ingredients
1 1/2 cup white peas/vatana, soaked
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida

2 potatoes, boiled, peeled & cut
2 tbsp sambar masala or KoLumbo Masala
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp tamarind powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp coconut
1/2 tbsp jaggery

Grind to Green paste * -
1/2 cup cilantro
4 garlic cloves
1/2" ginger
2 green chilies

Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, chopped
Green Paste*
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 sprigs curry leaves
3 red chilies, halved

Garnish

1 onion, minced

2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

Lemon wedges

Nylon sev

Suggested Accompaniment

Paav

Method

1. Pressure cook white vatana/peas adding turmeric powder, asafoetida and water.

2. Heat oil. Add curry leaves, cumin seeds and red chilies. As they sizzle, add onion. As onion turns soft, add green paste and saute for 2 minutes.

3. Now add cooked peas, potatoes and all the remaining ingredients (except for garnishing ingredients). Add 3 cups water. Bring to boil.

4. Let it simmer. Keep adding water as needed. Mash few of the potatoes and peas with the back of spoon.

5. While serving, garnish with onion, cilantro and sev in the individual bowls. Serve with pav.

Note -

1. The consistency of this curry should be thin for paav to soak up all the yummy curry. Since Kolumbo masala have daals in it, the curry gets thicker as it goes on simmering. So keep adding more water and make sure it gets boiled again.

2. According to my mom, this curry used to be quite oily and spicy. But I have reduced the oil and spice both. Adjust per your taste.

3. I used my grandmother's KoLumbo Masala for this curry.


This post is my contribution to Pallavi's Sunday Snacks - Chaats.

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